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Anjin-san

Graf Canada

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7 minutes ago, JunkyardAthletic said:

Not sure why this is unfortunate. Mike Vaughn most likely has the only hockey companies/divisions operating in the black. He is and has been for many years the Southwest Airlines of the hockey industry.

His investment in these companies was very low, very strategic. He's had a plan from day one (i.e. Eagle), stuck to it, and it's paid off, despite being criticized to no end on his strategy.

Mike told me something years ago and in the last year, that came to. He's a pretty smart dude that guy.

Sometimes ya gotta give credit where credit is due. I'm not a Graf fan by any means, but, I'm very interested to see where it goes, especially when Bauer and CCM are going to be selling direct.

At the very least, give kudos for him creating domestic jobs...

For many years I have heard alot of guys complain that fewer and fewer skates are Canadian made.

Now it's considered unfortunate that someone wants to change that.  

Wouldn't it be great if we had more Canadian made options?

 

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I agree with Zac911 and JunkyardAthletic. I think it's great to see a privately owned company in the industry. In the past there were periods of time where Graf put out a great product. If those days return we would all benefit either directly by using their skates, or indirectly by the competition it would create (with other brands).

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I wouldn't say its unfortunate as competition is always a good thing. I will say though that Graf Canada has to overcome a pretty well deserved reputation of having poor quality, especially over its last few years. This likely will be there last shot because if they fail again due to either quality or the inability to overcome their past reputation, I don't think they will try a 3rd time. 

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40 minutes ago, Axxion89 said:

I wouldn't say its unfortunate as competition is always a good thing. I will say though that Graf Canada has to overcome a pretty well deserved reputation of having poor quality, especially over its last few years. This likely will be there last shot because if they fail again due to either quality or the inability to overcome their past reputation, I don't think they will try a 3rd time. 

Not only poor quality, but being way behind from a tech standpoint as well. I mean their slogan is "THE LEADER IN INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY AND PRODUCT DESIGN" which seems a bit much coming from them...

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I'm really pulling for them to make a comeback, as they are basically the best off-the-shelf fit I've found for my feet, assuming they stick to some of the classic shapes they've built their name on.  I understand others have had QC issues with their stuff.  That stinks and is certainly a hurdle they will have to deal with.  I'd imagine with a name like Vaughn behind them, there is hope there.  And I know they were pretty stubborn of late on keeping up with the fast pace of change and innovation in the marketplace.  Another hurdle they will have to tackle.  But you have to admit they fill a niche in the industry.  Only time will tell if they are able to capitalize on that and claw back some market share from Bauer or CCM in the retail space. 

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I'd love to see them make a comeback. They just seem to continually delay the inevitable by trying to keep the brand alive. That's why I said it was unfortunate. I think they're wasting their time and money.

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Insoles look pretty sweet. I am finding that their holder design is awesome (the best IMO) and PeakSpeed boot is very promising. Even though it is not monocoque, they still managed to make it very responsive and comfortable. Heel-lock is always hands down best. I also doubt the eyelets will ever pop-out, these things are very solid. If Vaughn can improve on quality and support, this could be a viable option.  With them coming back, I want to see if they get any NHL players in Grafs... That looks like a pipe dream even to attempt it, but from what Mike Vaughn was saying, they have plans of going after NHLers and establishing full custom shop and RnD department. So we'll see. 

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22 minutes ago, Kgbeast said:

Insoles look pretty sweet. I am finding that their holder design is awesome (the best IMO) and PeakSpeed boot is very promising. Even though it is not monocoque, they still managed to make it very responsive and comfortable. Heel-lock is always hands down best. I also doubt the eyelets will ever pop-out, these things are very solid. If Vaughn can improve on quality and support, this could be a viable option.  With them coming back, I want to see if they get any NHL players in Grafs... That looks like a pipe dream even to attempt it, but from what Mike Vaughn was saying, they have plans of going after NHLers and establishing full custom shop and RnD department. So we'll see. 

Kgbeast, have you worn a pair of Peakspeeds? If so how does the sizing run when compared to classic Graf skates (i.e., are you wearing the same size skates in both)? 

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1 hour ago, Anjin-san said:

Kgbeast, have you worn a pair of Peakspeeds? If so how does the sizing run when compared to classic Graf skates (i.e., are you wearing the same size skates in both)? 

I do have a pair. And my feet are the same in length so I do wear D (R) in the same size for both feet. Only problem with my feet, my big toes is like 3/4" longer the toe next to it, but both feet are symmetrical. No pronation or anything like that. Sizing works out the same as 535/735 model, maybe just a touch roomier in the forefoot, but I would call it the same. Length is the same as classics as well.  PeakSpeeds have much better in my opinion tongue and foam/liner, but that is more of a personal pref. More secure lacing somehow. One thing to note, Graf has did away with screws and PKs use regular rivets like any other skate, which I think I like more as well.

Edited by Kgbeast
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3 hours ago, Anjin-san said:

Kgbeast, how much stiffer are these skates compared to the classic Grafs?

It depends what we are talking about. On a whole, I would think that they are stiffer... but how much stiffer, I can not say. They did not just used different materials, but also different approach. They feel higher cut than classics, but it does not appear so if you compare them visually. The skates appear to be more supportive in line with today Bauers and CCMs. 

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21 hours ago, Kgbeast said:

I do have a pair. And my feet are the same in length so I do wear D (R) in the same size for both feet. Only problem with my feet, my big toes is like 3/4" longer the toe next to it, but both feet are symmetrical. No pronation or anything like that. Sizing works out the same as 535/735 model, maybe just a touch roomier in the forefoot, but I would call it the same. Length is the same as classics as well.  PeakSpeeds have much better in my opinion tongue and foam/liner, but that is more of a personal pref. More secure lacing somehow. One thing to note, Graf has did away with screws and PKs use regular rivets like any other skate, which I think I like more as well.

I have the same Birkenstock® foot shape. The less anatomic footprint of the classic shallow Graf toe box is the only thing that isn't perfect for me in their standard boots. Everything else is spot on.

Edited by flip12

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Nothing fits my foot like Graf. I don't know why the hate for this company. I truly don't understand how people think they under preform. In comparison Bauer and CCM are not building a quality skate. Lots of money for a product that doesn't seem to hold up very well. Grafs are bullet proof. Glad to see them come back in any fashion.

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On 4/18/2017 at 11:22 PM, Kgbeast said:

It depends what we are talking about. On a whole, I would think that they are stiffer... but how much stiffer, I can not say. They did not just used different materials, but also different approach. They feel higher cut than classics, but it does not appear so if you compare them visually. The skates appear to be more supportive in line with today Bauers and CCMs. 

All true ...

I own PK7700's and we recently got G755's in my size in our shop.  I can't speak to the long term as I haven't used either regularly for any length of time, using the PK's for several months and taking only a quick sampling of the 755's. 

The 755's are more comfy, and the quarter package felt more "forgiving" when compared to the PK's.  Stiffness aside, the PK's profile fit my foot like my mid- 90's 704's do (yup, I still have 'em.)  The 755's look narrow to me visually, but they actually gave me some width in the forefoot.  Without more experience, I can't commit and say the 755's fit like my beloved mid- 90's 705's do (and yup, still have those too.)  The 755's felt really comfortable and I wouldn't anticipate any need to heat mold them.

Of course, they're not like Bauer models, especially not Vapors.  In my mind, the stiffness on the PK felt similar in flex to the CCM 50K's; the 755 felt more "traditional."

That Graf "forward lean" is there on both skates, something I always loved.

Anyway, I'm rooting for them also, and Vaughn seems invested in making it happen.

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Graf did have some unfortunate years though. I have some tech-mesh G35's that have a lot of the same performance I loved from classic 700-series Grafs, but are too stiff for their own good, killing that "3D-lasted" Graf shape. Now I have some original black and grey G35's and can get that elastic foot lock out of the boot like I could from classic Grafs. They're quite heavy but the fit and feel makes it worth it.

Edited by flip12
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11 hours ago, Josh_G said:

Stiffness aside, the PK's profile fit my foot like my mid- 90's 704's...

I can not see this. I had to sell pair of 704's because I had tight forefoot, but more so lack of instep. 704's were too tight for my taste. I had a later midel, without eyelets in the tendon gurad. One of most beautiful skates, but if anything, more of a JetSpeed fit. Since you have 704 still, do pencil over eyelets test and compare to PKs.... Lots more room plus a little wider in forefoot. Gx35 models are pretty close, but not 704, at least not the one I just sold about a year ago.

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They won't survive long term being a niche brand. Bauer & CCM have just about every foot shape covered and they are driving the tech in skate design. 

IMO, they should pump out a top end skate that rivals the big 2 and sell it for $599. Lots of guys I talk to aren't willing to spend the 800-900 bucks for top end skates. They either settle for much lower model or stick with what they have. Graf has the name to pull it off. They just need to shed their past quality issues.

Edited by stick9

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2 hours ago, Kgbeast said:

I can not see this. I had to sell pair of 704's because I had tight forefoot, but more so lack of instep. 704's were too tight for my taste. I had a later midel, without eyelets in the tendon gurad. One of most beautiful skates, but if anything, more of a JetSpeed fit. Since you have 704 still, do pencil over eyelets test and compare to PKs.... Lots more room plus a little wider in forefoot. Gx35 models are pretty close, but not 704, at least not the one I just sold about a year ago.

I just spent 30 minutes putting on the 704's, 705's and the PK's.  I think (hope) I discovered why I likened the PK to the 704 and can explain myself a little better (just FYI, my 704's do have the eyelets in the tendon guards.)

A few things to mention:

  • My PK's are size 8.0 and all of my older Grafs are 7.5's, so the pencil test might be flawed a bit due to skate size.
  • I never had the Gx35's, so I'd rely on your experience in comparing those.
  • For me, the Graf 705 is a masterpiece in fit.  I mention this because, admittedly, my comparison of the PK to the 704 is probably swayed by how both skates differ from my beloved 705. 

You and I certainly agree that the 704 forefoot is tighter than the other two, with the PK feeling a little tighter than the 705.  Interestingly, the point at which the forefoot on the 704 gets tight is also where the PK does so for me.  To be clear, the PK is not uncomfortably tight.  Of course, my 705 does not have this point of tightness.

Your comment of the 704's lack of instep is interesting to me for a couple reasons.  First, when I initially put the 704 on my foot, I instantly agreed with your observation as the instep felt "absent."  However, when I tightened the skate, the quarter pulled to form and took that feeling away.  I'm not sure how that might change during use.  In any case, I'll just mention it as it was one of the first things I noticed.

The main reason I suggested the 704's felt similar to the PK's to me involves how the skates "close" around my foot.  To exaggerate this a bit, the 704's and PK's seem to "fold" together from a point that's closer together underneath my foot.  By contrast, the 705's wrap around my foot, as if the 704's and PK's are a V, with the 705's feeling like a C on its back.

For whatever my comments are worth, I can say that I really like the PK skates.  As stated earlier, I can't speak to long term use.  However, I suspect that, in spite of any differences from the traditional Graf skates of the past, those who like Graf skates would still like these Graf skates (there's nothing like that Graf forward lean ...)

In any case,
I appreciate the discussion ...

JG

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4 hours ago, asgoodasdead said:

i've worn 703/704 my whole life. would love to try a pair of PK7700s....if i could find a pair in my size anywhere

PK will most likely be too roomy. Although, too roomy is not necessarily a big problem. I am pretty confident that heel-lock will be ok. But a word of caution - try first and if do not feel right, do not expect baking to help. As far where you can get them? I know that Vaughn made Grafs, PK7700, PK2200, and 755s are being shipped to a number of Canadian skate shops. You can go to grafhockey.com and inquire about any availability for wherever you are. You can also inquire about your specific fit recommendation.

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I've tried 705's and they fit great everywhere except the heel. After skating for 10-15 minutes the ball of my heels would go completely numb. Can anyone advise how the 755 fits compared to the 705's?

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3 hours ago, Anjin-san said:

I've tried 705's and they fit great everywhere except the heel. After skating for 10-15 minutes the ball of my heels would go completely numb. Can anyone advise how the 755 fits compared to the 705's?

Pretty positive that 755 is same or similar fit to 735 which would be pretty similar to PK line. 705 has different heel design and are little higher volume skates. 705 have deep heel pocket that wraps the entire back of your heel (pencil can not be inserted) plus two bulges in the padding push under the ankle bones from the sides. This feels great when it fits right, but can be very uncomfortable when it does not. New heel pocket design (goes back to 735 and MCI lines) is much easier on the foot and IMO can easily compete with CCM Rocketframe.

 

Edited by Kgbeast
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